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Article posted: 3/2/2013 5:00 AM

Medical cannabis helps quality of life

In a Feb. 7 letter, "Fight, but prepare for medical pot," the author argues that medical marijuana is likely to pass eventually because it's a "left" issue and Democrats outnumber Republicans in the General Assembly. It is correct that it's inevitable we'll see this pass, but it's wrong about the reasons. It will pass because it is the "right" thing to do.

The bill is supported by both parties. My husband, Jim, is a service-connected disabled veteran. He has multiple sclerosis and uses a wheelchair to get around. He uses cannabis to help control his MS symptoms such as muscle spasms, loss of appetite, fatigue and pain. At one time, Jim was known to take 59 pills a day to try to control his disease; many of which didn't help him. In fact, they only made him worse and his quality of life suffered.

Cannabis has enabled him to reduce his pill intake to 25 a day with no side effects except an increase in his appetite and activity level. He's able to get up out of bed, he's able to function and enjoy his life much better thanks to cannabis.

The author would also like us to think our children will be harmed by marijuana and questions what message are we sending. I'll tell you. We are sending the message to our children that this is indeed a medicine and can be used to help those who are sick and dying. We raised our children to be successful young adults who have careers and support themselves. Their father's use of cannabis in no way harmed them. In fact, they saw his cannabis use as "dad's medicine" -- not any different from the medicine in our cabinet. We taught them the message of compassion and common sense. It's that simple.

Sandy Champion

Somonuak

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